End-of-life issues and aging equipment left this major gas supplier vulnerable to cyber attack.
Cyber threats drive needed change
After learning of the WannaCry and Petya cyber attacks in 2017, a large multi-national natural gas transportation and supply company with operations on three continents realized they needed to modernize their control systems’ cyber security defenses. The first 800xA system running Windows XP to manage the compressor stations and the extended pipeline network was installed in 2006. Even though it was updated over the years, when Microsoft ended support for XP in early 2014, the company realized it was time to upgrade again. Losing XP support from Microsoft imperiled the efficiency of their control systems and exposed them to greater risk of cyber attack because the underlying operating system would no longer receive regular security updates.
Modernize control systems and improve control systems cyber defenses
Because so many people and businesses depend on the company for their energy needs, a cyber attack that interrupted operations could rise to the level of national security in at least one of the countries they operate. For that reason alone, avoiding unplanned downtime of this critical infrastructure – especially due to cyber attack – was critically important.